This month we focus on the value a mentor can bring to your business; we meet one of our resident mentors, Roy Lailvaux; and meet or latest square peg, Willie Naude.
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Mentorship key to preparing the next generation in a family business

Family businesses are renowned for their strength and resilience, but even so, it is estimated that only about 3% of family businesses survive after the third generation. Survival or demise hinges more often than not on the extent to which the next generation is trained and prepared for running the business, says Christo Botes, executive director of Business Partners Limited.

Anyone born into a successful family business can be considered extraordinarily lucky, but the position often comes with an unfair burden of expectation. The sons and daughters of a pioneer business founder are often expected to have somehow inherited the same characteristics that have made their father or mother successful, without careful consideration given to differences in temperament and upbringing. The expectation that, having grown up in a family business, your business prowess and even your business knowledge ought to “come naturally” can lead to neglect of the intense preparation that anyone needs if they are to make a success of running a business.

Education, training and years of experience and hard work is just as necessary for the next generation to take over a family business as it is for any professional manager who wants to become the CEO of a company. Mentorship is a crucial part of this preparation, says Botes. It takes many forms, and should continue throughout the lives of everyone involved in the family business.


The positive power of mentorship

In today’s challenging economic environment, mentors play a key role in growing businesses, supporting entrepreneurs and enabling SMEs to survive and flourish in tough trading conditions. Business Partners Limited, South Africa’s leading risk financier in South Africa, has witnessed businesses on the verge of bankruptcy recover, and be propelled to new levels of success as a result of some guidance from a mentor.

Although there are various types of advisors available, such as advisors, coaches and consultants, business owners should opt for a mentorship approach when seeking advice and guidance. The difference between a business mentor and the many other types of business advisors is subtle, as a mentor can play any number of roles.

A mentor is able to play the role of a strategic advisor, technical expert or business consultant, and sometimes all of them at once. However the key characteristics of a mentor has to do with their experience, attitude and approach. They practice the science and the art of business, not merely the science.

October 2016 / Vol.7.9


Are you a
square peg?

This quiz is not scientific but serves to highlight some of the key attributes of entrepreneurs or “square pegs”, as we at Business Partners affectionately call them. The quiz should give you some idea on whether you “possess” entrepreneurial qualities, or not. However, please remember that a positive outcome/score is not a recipe for success.

Take the quiz

The rewards of giving back through mentorship

Roy Lailvaux's career is a strong argument that every successful business owner should consider becoming a mentor to beginner business owners – not necessarily some time after their retirement, but even while they run their own businesses.

Lailvaux, a Johannesburg-based restaurant entrepreneur, is 56 years old and at the top of his game. He currently owns two successful restaurants and is starting up a third – a tough workload even by the standards of hardened business owners.

Yet he makes time to spend every Thursday morning at Business Partners Limited's (BUSINESS/PARTNERS) Entrepreneurs Growth Centre, evaluating business plans and taking calls from business owners seeking advice and guidance. And as one of about 300 mentors in BUSINESS/PARTNERS's Mentorship Programme, he dedicates hours out of every working week in one-on-one sessions to advise and guide other business owners through the minefields of growing their enterprises.


Start-up risks countered with research and planning

After a lifetime's worth of intense organisational and managerial experience, you would think that starting a straight-forward lifestyle-type enterprise would be breeze. It certainly is not, says Willie Naude, 59-year-old owner of Big Sky Cottages, a brand-new mountain resort with ten self-catering chalets near Wolseley in the Western Cape.

Naude has no problem planning and executing a project. As a technical director of television productions he has been organising and managing complicated sets and shoots for the past three decades. He also has no trouble learning the intricacies of the hospitality industry. As the son of hoteliers, he grew up in hotels and has absorbed a deep knowledge of the trade.

Rather, says Naude, the difficulty of starting a new business with his amount of experience lies in knowing that any number of things could go wrong, even with a relatively straight-forward business venture. “When you're young, you're too inexperienced to understand the risks involved...

Location: Clayville Business Park, 56 Axel Road, Clayville, Olifantsfontein.

Description: Unit 2 - approximately 602m² - is available. The unit consists of office and factory space. The entrance to the factory consists of a industrial roller shutter door and there is a door between the factory and offices. The unit also has a separate entrance to the ground floor office and stairs to the first floor offices. It includes toilets, kitchens and 3 phase electricity. It also includes security and electric fencing.

Rent: R39 130.00 (R65.00 pm²), plus VAT and metered electricity, water and sewerage.

Zelda Coetzer
083 289 1748
Location: Benoni Hive, Corner of Rothsay and Harpur Avenue, Benoni.

Description: The units available are approximately 64m². They consist of a roller shutter door to the factory and have 24-hour security.

Rent: R3 040.00 (R47.50 pm²), plus VAT and metered electricity, water and sewerage.

Zelda Coetzer
083 289 1748

Location: Buffalo Thorn Business Park, Nr 56, corner of Van Belkum and Kock Streets, Rustenburg.

Description: 3 Units of 254m² each are available to let (unit 9, 10 and 11). They can be combined for bigger space. The units are road facing and consist of one garage door with access to factory, an open plan reception and office/storage on a mezzanine level. The business Park has 24-hour security with guards at the access point.

Rent: R13 970.00 excl. VAT per month per unit. Metered electricity, sewerage and water charged separately.

Valencia Tshidi
079 011 9191

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